Sources from the police indicate that the quartet was arrested red-handed on March 15 in Batsinda, Gisozi Sector of Gasabo District with fake currency notes amounting to Rwf996, 000, Police said.
Police identified the suspects as Jean Paul Nsengiyumva, 30, Pacifique Uwineza 27, Louis Bamutake 37 and Ernest Kalisa 34.
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa said the successful operation was facilitated by a “responsible residents, who called police with the credible information on the criminal dealings of the four men.”
“Police officers masqueraded as the buyers of the fake money, so the suspects demanded Rwf400, 000 genuine money in exchange for Rwf1 million fake one, and they were arrested red-handed as they brought the counterfeit notes for the anticipated sale,” ACP Twahirwa said.
Of the 261 fake notes, 103 were in Rwf2000 denominations while other 158 were in Rwf5000 denominations.
“Whereas these are rare cases, every single currency note has its impact on the economy especially to those who are defrauded and can’t be compensated, and that’s why it should be fought by everyone by reporting anyone suspected of involvement,” ACP Twahirwa said.
“The people and the business community in particular shouldn’t leave room for such individuals to do their criminal businesses. By verifying and making sure the money you get is real and informing police on anyone making or circulating fake monies, you will be making it hard for the dealers to go on with their criminal acts,” he added.
According to police records counterfeiters target agents of mobile money dealers, banks and micro-finance institutions to achieve their illegal objectives.
Experts say currency counterfeiting is a source of financial loss to citizens and reduces the value of real money; increase in prices (inflation) due to more money getting circulated in the economy – an unauthorized artificial increase in the money supply.
Article 604 of the penal code states that “any person, who counterfeits, uses or circulates, by any means, items misrepresented as money or negotiable instruments shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of two to ten times the value of the counterfeit money”
Under article 601, “any person who fraudulently counterfeits, falsifies or alters coins, which are legal tender in Rwanda or abroad, bills issued by the State and bearing its stamp or emblem, banknotes, authorized notes or any other related effects used in Rwanda or abroad, or any person who introduces or issues on the Rwandan territory bills or notes which are legal tender with knowledge that they are counterfeit or altered, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than 5 years to 7 years.”